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Doggy Earth Day: Pups and Plastic

April 15, 2024

April 22nd is Earth Day. This year, the emphasis is on tackling the issue of plastic usage. Earthday.org is committed to significantly reducing overall plastic usage by sixty percent. Pets are definitely affected by that. Now is a great time to introduce some eco-conscious practices into your furry buddy’s care routine. Discover some helpful tips from a local Waterdown, ON vet on how to spend Earth Day with your furry friend in this informative article.

Is Plastic Dangerous For Pets?

Yes and no. Plastics pose no immediate threat and are generally not included in the list of precautions we recommend for pet owners. In fact, many pet products are made from plastic materials. That includes items such as toys, dishes, leash casings, and crates.

However, plastics are not completely harmless either. There is a potential choking risk associated with softer plastics, as well as items such as plastic bags and ties. Plastic bags and wrappers can also be strangulation hazards.

Then we have microplastics. As their name implies, these tiny pieces are made of plastic. Although further research is required, studies have found associations between them and a range of medical conditions, including cancer and digestive problems. They can now be found in a wide range of things, including water and even seafood. Interestingly, a recent report has revealed that microplastics have been found in as much as 90 percent of tapwater. It’s been found in shrimp and lobster, and even in rainwater in France.

How Can I Make My Dog’s Care Regimen Earth-Friendly?

Giving Fido a better pawprint doesn’t mean you have to completely change how you take care of him. Small details can make a big difference in this particular area!

Furever Useful

Do you find that when you brush Fido, you end up with an abundance of dog fur, enough to create another dog? While throwing away it is certainly an option, there are more environmentally friendly alternatives to consider. Or, just let the wind have it. Many birds find it to be a suitable material for constructing their nests.

Toy Selection

A lot of dog toys are made with plastics and rubber. When shopping, read the label and consider the country of origin. Some products made overseas have been discovered to contain harmful substances, including BPAs and even lead. Choose things that are made from sustainable materials.

Pick Up After The Pup

Dog feces is a main source of water contamination. Grab some biodegradable waste baggies and keep them handy at all times.

Buy In Quantity

By purchasing your furry friend’s kibble in bulk, you can make a positive impact on reducing packaging waste. That being said, there is a sweet spot here. It’s important not to get too much, as it may spoil before your furry friend can enjoy it.

Additionally, if you purchase large packages of dog food, you might reconsider your storage choices. A lot of folks choose small plastic waste baskets or totes to store their kibble in. Consider choosing a stainless steel container instead. You can find them at many farm supply stores, as they are great for storing grain.  Ceramic will work as well.

Ditch The Plastic Bottles

Do you buy bottled water? Consider getting a filter for your tap instead. You can also double it up with a filtered pitcher for even cleaner water. 

Dinnerware Pupgrade

Do you happen to carry any plastic bowls and dishes for your furry friend? If that’s the case, you might want to consider replacing them with ceramic, bamboo, or stainless steel options. And this also applies to Fido’s treat jar!

Keep Up With Veterinary Care

If your furry companion has not been spayed or neutered, we highly recommend taking care of this matter promptly. There are already countless stray and homeless pets out there who are in desperate need of loving homes! Staying on top of preventative care is also important. You might not realize the environmental impact of consistently administering flea medication to your furry friend, but it’s quite significant. It is much more convenient and cost-effective to safeguard your beloved pet from parasites and diseases rather than having to provide treatment for them. It also saves resources (including plastics). If your furry friend hasn’t paid a visit to your Waterdown, ON vet in a while, it’s a gentle nudge to schedule that important appointment!

Choose Environmentally Conscious Cleaning Methods

Dogs are amazing pets and companions, although they can be a bit messy as roommates. Here are a few tips to help you make your doggy cleanup methods more environmentally friendly.

Consider opting for cleaning products that are derived from renewable resources. For example, if your furry friend enjoys creating nose print art on your windows, you can use a vinegar cleaner to remove Fido’s adorable masterpieces.

Another thing you can do? Use washable rags instead of paper towels.  You can also get some biodegradable garbage bags.

What Should I Do If My Pet Ate Plastic?

 This can be very dangerous. While sometimes dogs are able to naturally pass small pieces of plastic without much trouble, in some instances, these items can create blockages. These can pose a significant risk and may even be life-threatening. If you believe that your dog has ingested plastic, reach out to your Waterdown, ON veterinarian for assistance.

What Should Fido And I Do For Earth Day?

If the weather is good, this would be a wonderful opportunity to bring your furry friend to a park or trail. Getting some sunlight, fresh air, and exercise will do wonders for both of you!

Another option is to take on a few simple and straightforward home projects. Consider planting native flora that will attract pollinators to your garden. Alternatively, consider adding a small herb garden. Your furry friend will be more than happy to lend a helping paw.

For those who enjoy gardening, look into environmentally conscious methods to attract helpful insects and deter harmful ones. For example, if you’re dealing with hornets, consider placing a paper grocery bag on your porch. They will assume it is a rival nest and move on! 

Choosing eco-friendly methods is also a safer option for your pet. It’s important to remember that pet poisonings are a frequent reason for emergency visits. Don’t overlook the potential dangers that lawn and garden chemicals can pose to our furry friends. For instance, slug baits are highly toxic to dogs. Try using oats instead. (Spoiler: this isn’t going to go well for the slugs.)

Lastly, simply sharing the information can make a difference. Now would be the perfect opportunity to share some adorable pictures of your beloved furry friend. Feel free to share information, like this blog, on social media platforms. Don’t forget to include the right hashtags: #Earthday EarthDay. Use #EarthDay, #GoGreen, #SaveThePlanet, and #EcoFriendly.

Contact Your Waterdown, ON Pet Hospital

Are you looking for answers or advice regarding your furry friend’s well-being? Is Fido in need of a wellness exam? Feel free to reach out to us, your Waterdown, ON pet hospital, at any time! Feel free to ask any questions or share any concerns you may have about your dog’s health or care. We’re here to help!

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